Recent MLB Player News

Ian Happ moved up a couple spots in Cubs' order on Friday

Chicago Cubs outfielder/second baseman Ian Happ is batting fifth on Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

What It Means:

A day after going 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs, Happ will move up to the five-hole against Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ while manning second base for the Cubs in Friday's series opener. Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Ben Zobrist will each move up one spot in the order, to second, third, and fourth, respectively.

The Cubs have an appealing implied total (4.99 runs) in a matchup with a strong park factor (1.025), so Happ could be worth a look on Friday. numberFire's models project him to score 9.2 FanDuel points at a cost of $2,800.

Blue Jays' Miguel Montero up to fifth in Friday's lineup

Toronto Blue Jays catcher Miguel Montero has been moved up to fifth in Friday's order against the Chicago Cubs.

What It Means:

After being activated from the disabled list on Wednesday, today will mark Montero's second straight start with Russell Martin (oblique) still out for the time being. In a revenge game of sorts, Montero will hit fifth against former teammate Jake Arrieta.

When hitting fifth this season, Montero is just 5-for-26 in 29 plate appearances. He'll look to turn that around with a projection of 7.9 points at $2,200 on FanDuel this afternoon.

Steve Pearce hitting cleanup for Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman/outfielder Steve Pearce is batting from the cleanup spot Friday against the Chicago Cubs.

What It Means:

Facing an NL opponent on the road today, the Blue Jays lose their usual four-hitter in designated hitter Kendrys Morales. Therefore, Pearce will slide up a spot to hit fourth against the Cubs' Jake Arrieta.

With a career .379 wOBA and .247 ISO from the cleanup spot, our models project Pearce for 8.8 FanDuel points at $3,500 on the early slate.

Toronto's Kendrys Morales not in lineup on Friday

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales is out of the lineup Friday versus the Chicago Cubs.

What It Means:

As the Blue Jays transition to an NL ballpark in Chicago, they'll forfeit their DH spot, meaning Kendrys Morales is out this afternoon.

After going 1-for-4 with a double in yesterday's game, Morales is projected for 6 dingers, 21 RBI and a .257 average the rest of the season.

Blue Jays' Nori Aoki is on the bench for Friday's matchup

Toronto Blue jays outfielder Nori Aoki is not in the lineup for Friday's road matchup with the Chicago Cubs.

What It Means:

Having spelled Jose Bautista on Thursday afternoon, Aoki will make way for Bautista's return to the lineup today in Chicago.

In his part-time role, our models like Aoki to add 21 hits, 7 RBI and 10 runs over the remainder of the 2017 season.

Jose Bautista returns to Friday's lineup for Toronto

Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista is back in the starting lineup for Friday's game against the Chicago Cubs.

What It Means:

After getting a routine night off on Thursday, Bautista will return to play right and hit lead off against the Cubs' Jake Arrieta. As he does so, he'll send Nori Aoki back to Toronto's bench.

Bautista is 0-for-13 in 18 career plate appearances against today's starter. And, if that wasn't enough to scare you away, the Blue Jays have an implied total of just 4.02 runs this afternoon at Wrigley.

Victor Caratini at catcher on Friday for Cubs

Chicago Cubs catcher Victor Caratini is starting on Friday versus the Toronto Blue Jays.

What It Means:

Caratini will catch right-hander Jake Arrieta and bat sixth versus Blue Jays southpaw J.A. Happ, who has been dominant as of late (1.45 ERA over last three starts). Alex Avila will be available off the bench for the defending champs.

numberFire's models project Caratini to score only 4.6 FanDuel points versus Happ and the Blue Jays, lowest among every batter on our board for today's full 15-game slate.

Rays' Alex Cobb (toe) could return to action on Tuesday

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb (toe) could return to the rotation as early as Tuesday, when the Rays take on the Toronto Blue Jays.

What It Means:

Cobb has been out of action with turf toe since August 5, but he made it through a 40-pitch bullpen session without issue on Wednesday, and he's scheduled to throw another on Saturday.

Despite a decent 3.80 ERA, Cobb has had a shaky year, posting a 4.72 SIERA through 23 games. numberFire's models project him for a 4.12 ERA and 1.37 WHIP over the remainder of the season.

Jason Heyward in Cubs' lineup versus Blue Jays

Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward is starting on Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

What It Means:

Heyward will start in right field and bat seventh versus Blue Jays southpaw J.A. Happ, who hasn't given up more than 1 run in any of his last three starts. Ben Zobrist will be in left field while Kyle Schwarber grabs a seat on the bench Friday afternoon.

numberFire's models project Heyward to score 9.0 FanDuel points at a cost of $2,900 on Friday, and despite Happ's recent success, he could be worth a look as the Cubs have an appealing implied total (4.99 runs) in a matchup with a strong park factor (1.025).

Albert Almora starting, leading off for Cubs on Friday

Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora is starting on Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

What It Means:

Almora will start in center field and lead off the order versus Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ, who has allowed just 1 run in three consecutive starts. Jon Jay will be available off the bench on Friday.

numberFire's models project Almora to score 8.1 FanDuel points at a cost of $2,100 on Friday, and despite Happ's recent success, he could be worth a look as the Cubs have an appealing implied total (4.99 runs) in a matchup with a strong park factor (1.025).

Twins' Robbie Grossman suffers a fractured left thumb

Minnesota Twins outfielder Robbie Grossman made an early exit from Thursday evening's game against the Cleveland Indians with a fractured left thumb.

What It Means:

Grossman collided with Byron Buxton in the outfield in the third inning, and he's expected to miss at least three weeks with the injury. Max Kepler replaced him when he left the game on Thursday.

Grossman has slashed .243/.367/.363 with a .328 wOBA while adding 7 home runs, 50 runs scored and 35 RBI in 98 games (380 plate appearances) in 2017.

Nationals expect to get Stephen Strasburg (elbow) back on Saturday

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg (elbow) is expected to make his return against the San Diego Padres on Saturday.

What It Means:

Strasburg missed about three weeks with an Elbow impingement, and while he only made one rehab start, it lasted a smooth five innings, and it doesn't look like he'll have any serious limitations upon returning to the rotation.

Strasburg has a 3.25 ERA and 3.56 SIERA with a 28.1% strikeout rate and 1.12 WHIP through 20 games in 2017. numberFire's models project him for a 3.39 ERA, 25.0% strikeout rate and 1.19 WHIP in 48 innings pitched over the remainder of the season.

Rockies' Nolan Arenado (hand) has X-rays come back negative

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado had X-rays on his left hand come back Negative.

What It Means:

Arenado made an early exit on Thursday when he was hit by a ground ball in the same hand that he injured being hit by a pitch on Sunday. It sounds like he's just dealing with bruising, but there's a good chance he gets the day off on Friday to recover.

In 511 plate appearances (PA) this season, Arenado is slashing .312/.363/.591 with 27 home runs, 103 RBI, and 77 runs scored. Assuming he isn't forced to miss any time, numberFire's models project him to turn in a .303 batting average with 9 home runs, 28 RBI, and 25 runs scored in 168 remaining PA this year.

Alen Hanson a late add to the White Sox lineup

Chicago White Sox utility man Alen Hanson has been added to the lineup on Thursday.

What It Means:

Hanson replaces Avisail Garcia in right field, who was a late scratch due to some wrist soreness.

The White Sox own an implied total of 4.9 on Thursday, making Hanson an intriguing play with a cost of just $2,000 versus the Texas Rangers.

White Sox' Avisail Garcia scratched with wrist soreness

Chicago White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia (wrist) was scratched from the lineup Thursday against the Texas Rangers.

What It Means:

Garcia was removed at the last minute after experiencing some soreness in his left wrist before Thursday's game. Alen Hanson will start in right field in his place.

Garcia is batting .307 with a .839 OPS, 13 homers, and 57 RBI in 394 plate appearances this season.

Hyun Soo Kim is starting in right field for Philadelphia

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Hyun Soo Kim is in the lineup, batting sixth on Thursday.

What It Means:

Kim got the day off on Wednesday, with a southpaw on the mound. However, with righty Jeff Samardzija starting for the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, Kim will return to the lineup. Cameron Perkins is back on the bench.

Our models project Kim for 6.6 FanDuel points while costing $2,000 on Thursday.

Nick Williams batting third for Phillies on Thursday night

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Nick Williams is batting third on Thursday against the San Francisco Giants.

What It Means:

Williams will move up to the three-hole versus Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija. He went 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeout while working out of the fifth spot in the order on Wednesday.

With the second-lowest implied total on the board (3.36 runs), the Phillies don't offer much fantasy upside on Thursday. numberFire's models project Williams to score 8.8 FanDuel points at a cost of $2,800.

Cameron Perkins is not in the Phillies' Thursday lineup

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Cameron Perkins is not in the lineup on Thursday.

What It Means:

Perkins got the start in right field on Wednesday but will return ot the bench Thursday as Hyun Soo Kim handles the job in right.

Our models project Perkins for a .174 batting average in 25 plate appearances, the rest of the season.

Tommy Joseph dropped to seventh in the Phillies' batting order

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph has been dropped to seventh in the batting order on Thursday.

What It Means:

Joseph was hitting cleanup on Wednesday but will take a big hit to his fantasy value as he will be batting in the bottom third of the lineup versus Jeff Samardzija and the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.

Our models project Joseph for 7.6 FanDuel points while costing $2,300 on Thursday.

Padres place Matt Szczur placed on family leave list

San Diego Padres outfielder Matt Szczur has been placed on the family leave list.

What It Means:

Szczur will be excused from the team for a few days to deal with a family matter. Reliever Buddy Baumann was called up from Triple-A El Paso in a corresponding move.

Szczur is slashing .209/351/.353 in 173 plate appearances (88 games) this season.

Source: Padres.com

Matt Wieters is starting at catcher for Washington

Washington Nationals catcher Matt Wieters is in the lineup Thursday, batting seventh versus the San Diego Padres.

What It Means:

Wieters got a routine day off on Wednesday but will be back in action Thursday as the Nats start a four-game series with the Padres. Jose Lobaton will head to the bench.

Our models project Wieters for 7.4 FanDuel points while costing $2,700 on Thursday.

Jose Lobaton is not in the Nationals' lineup Thursday

Washington Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton is not in the lineup on Thursday.

What It Means:

Lobaton filled in at catcher for Matt Wieters on Wednesday but will head back to the bench as Wieters will get the start Thursday night.

Our models project Lobaton for a .216 batting average in 42 plate appearances, the rest of the season.

Nolan Arenado leaves Rockies' game early with hand injury

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado exited Thursday's contest against the Atlanta Braves with what appeared to be a hand injury.

What It Means:

A grounder popped Arenado during the seventh inning on Thursday in the same part of his hand that was hit by a pitch on Sunday in Miami against the Marlins. He was held out of the lineup on Monday as a result but still made an appearance as a pinch-hitter. Arenado went 1-for-2 with a double and a walk before exiting. Rookie Ryan McMahon filled the void on the hot corner for Colorado while Mark Reynolds came off the bench to play first base.

In 511 plate appearances (PA) this season, Arenado is slashing .312/.363/.591 with 27 home runs, 103 RBI, and 77 runs scored. Assuming he isn't forced to miss any time, numberFire's models project him to turn in a .303 batting average with 9 home runs, 28 RBI, and 25 runs scored in 168 remaining PA this year.

Source: Nick Groke

Yan Gomes not starting in Game 2 on Thursday for Indians

Cleveland Indians catcher Yan Gomes is absent from the starting lineup in Game 2 of Thursday's doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins.

What It Means:

Roberto Perez will catch left-hander Ryan Merritt and bat eighth versus Twins right-hander Aaron Slegers. Gomes went 3-for-5 with 1 home run, 4 RBI, and 2 runs scored in Thursday's matinée.

Over 296 plate appearances (PA) this season, Gomes owns a .226/.319/.374 slash with 8 home runs and 37 RBI. numberFire's models project him to record a .213 batting average with 3 home runs and 11 RBI in 102 remaining PA in 2017.

Bradley Zimmer absent from Indians' lineup in Game 2 on Thursday

Cleveland Indians outfielder Bradley Zimmer is not starting in the second part of Thursday's doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins.

What It Means:

Zimmer will head to the bench after going 1-for-5 with a run scored and 2 strikeouts in the matinée. Abraham Almonte will start in center field and bat seventh versus Twins right-hander Aaron Slegers.

Including today, Zimmer is now slashing .245/.316/.400 with 8 home runs, 38 RBI, and 14 steals in 275 plate appearances (PA) this season. numberFire's models project him to turn in a .279 batting average with 7 home runs, 24 RBI, and 22 runs scored in 163 remaining PA in 2017.

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